Zap-Flattener

Flattens things, temporarily.
For example, when a person is zapped by a Zap-Flattener, they go totally and completely flat for 60 seconds.

The Zap-flattener was invented by Mr. Rosebank when he was young. He needed a way to sneak out the house at night to get to his secret inventions tree-house, but the front door was always locked. Years later he licensed it to Rajak Industries.

During trial testing of their mass-market version, Rajak Industries ran into a problem with the timing algorithm. An employee, Horatio Nomrodd, got zapped during routine zap testing, but after 60 seconds remained flat. And no matter what they did, they couldn’t get him to unflatten. So they rushed him to the local hospital where he was put in a bed.

Later that night, there was a change of shift and the new nurse in charge thought Horatio Nomrodd’s bed was unoccupied (he was fast asleep under the blanket). A new patient was wheeled in, and how can we say this diplomatically? The new patient was not a thin man. He was very much not a thin man. He was placed in the bed and poor Horatio Nomrodd had to spend the night trapped under him.

Fortunately at sunrise the shift changed again, and the old nurse was back in charge. She rescued Horatio Nomrodd and had the clear thinking to call Mr. Rosebank. As inventor of the machine, he knew exactly how to un-flatten Horatio Nomrodd, and the story ended happily.

Horatio Nomrodd was given $100,000 by Rajak Industries for his trauma, and he was also given two weeks off work. He spent the two weeks writing a book about the ordeal, and it quickly became a bestseller. A movie deal soon followed, which is why of course, the story of Horatio Nomrodd is widely known.